The 67-year-old heavy metal hero from Stoke-on-Trent also suffers from diabetes, and a tour including a stop at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, has had to be cancelled at the last minute.
It is a huge blow for the band, who have just released their 21st studio album, Aftershock, and were being lined up for big festival dates next year in addition to an exhausting four-month tour.
“We have made the decision because I am not quite ready to hit the road yet, and am working my way back to full fitness and rude health,” said Lemmy,
“Don’t worry, I’m not about to start promoting veganism and alcohol-free beverages, but it is fair to say that I personally have been reconfiguring areas of my life to make sure I can come back fitter and stronger than ever.
“It disappointed me tremendously to have to say I wasn’t quite ready to hit the road yet, but not nearly as much as it would’ve disappointed me to go out, play some average shows and watch my health give way long before the tour was over!
“When people come to see a Motörhead tour, they expect a Motörhead show, and that is exactly what you will get as soon as I am fit and ready to rumble.”
Guitarist Phil Campbell revealed that Lemmy’s notorious tough guy image made it hard for him to accept help when he fell ill.
“Lemmy’s continuing health problems have given us no option but to postpone the European tour which was due to start this month,” he said.
“He had a pacemaker fitted earlier in the year because he’d been suffering from irregular heartbeats, and then his diabetes started playing him up.
“The good news is that his ticker’s fine now and he’s made sufficient changes to his lifestyle and diet in order to combat the diabetes.
“It’s just that he felt he wasn’t 100 per cent ready to go back on the road just yet.
“As a result we put the dates back to enable him to build himself back up to full fitness.”
He added that while most fans had come to regard the gravel-throated singer as an unstoppable, hell-raising war horse destined to rock on for ever, he had very different view of the vicar’s son otherwise known as Ian Fraser Kilmister.
“Look, none of us are getting any younger, so Lemmy’s condition didn’t exactly come as a massive shock,” said Campbell, 52. “But the older we get, the more we tend to be there for one another and back each other up.
“The main problem is that he’s displayed such a hard persona all his life that it makes it difficult for him to let people in. He’s like the John Wayne of rock – always wanting to soldier on and handle things on his own, you know?”
Tickets for Motorhead’s November 19 show at the Civic Hall will remain valid once dates are rescheduled in the new year.